Telman Ismailov, the owner of Praga restaurant in the center of Moscow, decided to surprise his guests on New Year's night. The businessman invited three megastars from abroad: Ricky Martin, Mariah Carey and Robbie Williams.
The stars arrived in Moscow on their own private jets. Ricky, Mariah and Robbie were comfortably accommodated in Moscow's luxurious Balchug Hotel. Ricky and Mariah were paid $850 thousand for a 40-minute performance, whereas Robbie received one million dollars.
Russian oil tycoons with Roman Abramovich at the head invited Australian star Kylie Minogue. The pop princess was going to take a break for Christmas holidays, but she could not resist a temptation of grabbing $900 thousand for just one exclusive performance for Russian oil kings.
Russian President Putin was more modest: he picked out the British band Smokie for $35 thousand. The musicians, who were popular 30 years ago, pleased the Kremlin officials with a selection of their 20 best hits.
After WWII, the Soviet army left Austria, and the latter had always remained a neutral state and never joined NATO
Russia experienced default on August 17, 1998. Today, 20 years after those events, the economic situation in Russia does not seem stable to many